I am playing around with the idea of doing a short series of special encounters in a magepunk D&D 4e game that are on a massive scale. To impart that sense of scale I wanted the players to pilot large steam-powered mecha. This was inspired by the vehicle sub-games found in many games out there.
Armed with Large Steam powered Battlesuits, battles wading through hordes of enemy infantry or against colossal enemies have an appropriate sense of scale.
As loads of special rules would bog down play I decided to use monsters as a base and keep the Battlesuits themselves fairly simple. Ideally you could hand the monster card to the players at the start of the night and they could jump right into play with them in hand.
For this set piece battle, the Players have access to Titan Battlesuits (large magic/steam-powered constructs) for a finite number of special encounters.
Although the suits are more efficient than past models that ran entirely on coal and much more cost-effective than models that were wholly magical constructs, the suits require a combination of mundane fuel and magical components to operate making them difficult to field in long draw out conflicts.
The Titans require fuel to operate limiting operation to 1 Encounter / unit of fuel.
Though the power of the suits are immense, so is the toll of piloting one. The steam and hydraulics that give the suit its strength broil and press the pilot leaving lesser pilots drained and half-cooked. Many young recruits desiring to push their limits and attain glory have been crushed by those very aspirations under the strain of the suit.
At the end of the encounter where a Titan Battlesuit was used, the pilot loses a healing surge for every level the suit exceeds their character level.
(Example: Level 16 suit – Level 12 pilot = 4 surges lost)
Titans have HP, defenses, and bonuses roughly equivalent to the elite monsters of their designated level. At 50% HP (bloodied) the pilot is exposed. While bloodied the Titan and Pilot each take half of any damage dealt.
I decided to work with level 16 as my base for this experiment, but you could easily adjust numbers for any level.
Equipment / Powers
All Chassis are the same, but the equipment will differ. The Titan’s equipment defines its powers and may modify the Titan’s stats.
All Titans have a Battle-fist MBA.
Each Titan will have a modular armament that defines its role.
Each Titan will have a modular device to give it utility.
I have a few sample armaments and devices that have been fitted to the base in the gallery below.
This is still a rough idea so suggestions, critiques, and questions are welcome.
Let me know what you think.